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IMU Pharmacy Degree Leads to a Successful Career

04 Jul 2017

Chin Yee Min (better known as Terry) started his studies in pharmacy at the International Medical University (IMU) in 2005 and graduated four years later. He then worked in Hospital Teluk Intan. This was when he felt that what he was taught at IMU was useful particularly in clinical experience where he was capable of handling a warfarin clinic independently, screen prescription, warfarin level – dose adjustment and advising the doctor accordingly.  He also felt that the busy schedules at IMU helped him to adapt to the working environment.

“At IMU, I learned to commit to lifelong learning, a commitment that required dedication and passion in what I am doing now. Besides studying, I was also involved in extra-curricular activities at IMU and my most memorable moment would be the moment I lifted the IMU Cup Champion trophy in football.”

While working at Hospital Teluk Intan, Terry had the opportunity to work in a community pharmacy in Ipoh as a locum. It was at this pharmacy that he was trained on how a price oriented community pharmacy works. “In a price oriented environment, most of the time, your hard work and dedication will not be appreciated by the customer because the focus is only on the price. In fact, most of the time, it creates a tense and negative environment. It was contagious. Until one day I told my mom that I was not happy with what I was doing then. I felt that something was missing in this kind of company (pharmacy).” “My dream is to build an abundant organisation. But in the command-and-control system that I experienced in the retail setting, it limits people’s ability to perform their strengths for the company. We weren’t moving forward, we just kept going backward. It wasn’t until I met Mr Phang, founder of Nova Laboratories who inspired me with his business strategy that could change how we do business in the retail settings.” “After a half-day chat with Mr Phang, I made the decision that only a few will take and that is to join Nova Laboratories, by breaking the contract with government and quit from my comfort zone as a hospital pharmacist. This meant that I had to give up on having a fixed salary and instead living on an allowance basis.

“When I was in Nova Laboratories, my entrepreneurial mindset started to nurture. Later, it was tough for me to decide to leave Nova laboratories in 2012 since it was a great place for me to learn how to become a researcher, marketer, leader and contributor. My ambition and desire to bring a bigger change on cultural and behaviours in a company is much more intense and it drove me down to Johor to join AM PM Pharmacy Sdn Bhd.”

At that time, choosing a well-known retail chain would be a much wiser choice than choosing a local small company like AM PM. However, Terry chose to assist a man he admires, Mr Ng Kee Wei, the founder of AM PM Pharmacy who had widen his knowledge and changed him to become a better person. There are also some shared common beliefs in business goals and directions, building and expanding a business, core values and culture of the company between the two men. Besides that, the two men also embraced the idea of building the people who work with them as well as a repeatable system that enabled their associates to run the company – a business for people, where everyone gets a chance to grab the brass ring if they choose to do so. “I appreciate the chance that Mr Ng has given me by empowering me in introducing some changes and ideas the moment that I joined. I appreciated the trust. When I was at AM PM, I helped in shaping the culture and core values for the company, invited leaders to talk about our core values, strategised our direction, plan and market position, identified our social responsibility, created a position workplace for employees and attracted talents to our organisation”. “My journey in AM PM Pharmacy is very fruitful because the new store was set up with some of the elements from my beliefs directly under my responsibility. When I took up another responsibility in another new branch in year 2014, it was a time where I enjoy a stability in my career and income. But I was aware that it was time for me to slowly move out from the retail business and look for another new challenge to address the ever challenging retail world. It was planned since the day that I joined but I only looked into this 1.5 years later. I believe not many people would be willing to take on another challenge yet again after the second time they felt comfortable with the environment they were working in. The challenge is huge and no one can possibly imagine the future.” “We started from scratch. Now, Eldon Healthcare Sdn Bhd is in full operation with the aim of working together with our pharmacy partners who shared a common belief. Through the products we sell, we aim to empower lives by enhancing the quality of life while delivering optimum wellness.  We started building Eldon in 2014, with only four (4) members of staff in the team. I was in-charged of product development at the beginning and later extended my role to production, warehouse, logistic and marketing.” Terry’s advice to future pharmacy graduates is “The world outside of university is very different. As most of the employers will not look at your results. It’s about your positive attitude and behaviour that shape your future. Don’t believe me? In my experience of interviewing potential candidates, I never looked at their paper qualification. Because most of the performance at work are not determined by their results in university. Shaping some positive personal attitudes will be very useful while you are at university.”

“Embrace and learn from the mistakes you made. I have made various mistakes that brought myself and my company into trouble in the past. Each time I failed, I learned, and I get up stronger and better.”

“You can’t have it all at once. At certain times, you need to learn to sacrifice something for the better.”  This is an advice Terry received from his mentor, A/Prof Kang when he was under his intensive supervision in his University life. “Well, it’s true. It’s a matter of choice. I chose to go for the unusual path in my life and hope that one day I will be one of the successful men. I chose to shoulder myself with greater responsibility. And hence, I sacrificed my personal life. I worked day and night. I worked during Chinese New Year. I worked in the office, from home and while I’m overseas. To be honest, there’s no work-family life balance for me. I sacrificed my time, my love, my effort, and my attention for those who loved me and cared about me to the extent that a relationship that meant a lot to me was ruined to a point of no return. It was definitely too late having any regrets then. For every path you chose, you have to be responsible for it. Be grateful with what you have and stop blaming others or yourself. Happiness is just in front of you.”

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